Claudio Parentela is an eclectic, wild, natural artist. This is an individual that couldn't be anything but an artist, it is in his nature, in his DNA. Claudio flows with the laws and un-laws of the cosmos, ducking and weaving with intent and intention as he constantly and consistently projects his view of self and others, through a cacophony of artwork that never seems to stop.
Claudio is restless, like all good artists should be. He dances the dance of the restless, of the intrigued, of the engaged. He is never still, because why would you be still, there is so much to see, so much to discover, to understand, to puzzle over.
There is definitely no complacency here, no sitting back and siphoning off of past successes. Claudio is a man in his mid-fifties and does not look as if he is going to slow down anytime soon. His creative flow is going to keep on going, keep on flowing along that path until...well, until he drops basically.
That to me is amazing, prophetic, inspiring, and perhaps a little intimidating in some respects. To walk the walk of the creative artist, and to continue that walk as a stride, as Claudio does, should be a yardstick for us all, but it is a demanding one, and not set up for everyone to follow. There are sacrifices, there are disabilities, but it shines, so so brightly, who could resist.
One of the wonders of being a creative artist is that there is never a reason to stop. There are no parameters of retirement, for cessation. When many of those around the age of Claudio are thinking towards the slow walk towards retirement and all that that entails, artists just keep on going.
There is always wonder in the eyes of an artist, always intrigue, always amusement to be found in juxtapositions in the ways of people, in the reflection of self. There is also commentary to be made in the absurdity and tragedy that can be so much a part of our lives, the lives of others, the fates and journeys of our communities.
These are natural fodder for the artist, the natural path so many need to follow. Artists are both touchpaper and reflector. Artists are not outside the body of experience, but they do have the unique ability to step sideways on occasions, in order to reflect and to project what they see. Sometimes with compassion, sometimes without.
Claudio's work has depth and understanding of the human condition. This set of drawings gives a rich example of that understanding. I personally love these, and I love a quote I came across made by Claudio that perfectly suits this set of work, but also perfectly suits the wonderful world that Claudio has created for himself, and for others:
"I love the black Indian ink, its thousand and thousand shades, the thousand and thousand shades of the soul..."
This is Claudio all over. A generous, enthusiastic, wildly cosmic, but above all charming man. A man that rolls with the waves of life, and accepts and is happy to surf along those rolls for everything he is worth. A template for us I feel.
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